15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Degree of Initial Lowering in Japanese as a Reflex of Prosodic Structure Organization

Elisabeth Selkirk (1), Takahito Shinya (1), Mariko Sugahara (2)

(1) University of Massachusetts, USA
(2) University of Edinburgh, UK

In this paper we show a significant contrast in the realization of the Minor Phrase-initial rise in Japanese as a function of the XP vs. nonXP status of the syntactic branching structure at the left edge of which the rise is located. Sentences examined consisted of a sequence of lexically unaccented nouns followed by an accented verb. F0 values of both the L and the H edge tones of Minor Phrase are found to be more extreme at left XP edge, understood to be a prosodic Major Phrase edge. These differences produce an initial rise at Major Phrase edge that is significantly larger than that at Minor Phrase edge.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Selkirk, Elisabeth / Shinya, Takahito / Sugahara, Mariko (2003): "Degree of initial lowering in Japanese as a reflex of prosodic structure organization", In ICPhS-15, 491-494.